Crews clear crash that closed 2 left lanes of EB I-94 in Waukesha

Jan. 31, 2014 2:05 p.m. | Crews have cleared a crash that closed two left lanes of eastbound Interstate 94 at Highway JJ for about 50 minutes. The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department responded.

Paul Ryan to speak at Carroll University

Jan. 31, 2014 1:08 p.m. | On Friday, Feb. 7, Carroll University will host Congressman Paul Ryan for a presentation on how he believes the federal government and its leaders can work to expand economic opportunity for the Millennial generation.

"Expanding Opportunity for Young Americans” will begin at 11 a.m. in the auditorium of Shattuck Music Center, 218 N. East Ave., Waukesha. A question-and-answer session will follow. This event is free and open to the public.

Ryan’s remarks will focus on his efforts to increase upward mobility, expand opportunity and rejuvenate the American economy so it’s better suited to meet the dynamic demands of the 21st century global economy.

Waukesha officials honored to be at Obama event

Jan. 31, 2014 12:26 p.m. | President Barack Obama used Waukesha's General Electric Gas Engines manufacturing plant’s initiatives as an example for the rest of the country to follow during his speech Thursday morning. 

He also addressed looking to increase the minimum wage nationwide, getting more skilled workers employed with proper job training, to wage equality for women. Here is a transcript of his near 30-minute speech.

The speech brought out many politicians and business leaders from the Milwaukee and Waukesha area.

These included Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas and Waukesha County Board Chairman Paul Decker.

It also included former Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, Common Council President Terry Thieme (a City of Waukesha mayoral candidate) and Waukesha County Board Supervisor Michael Crowley, who was invited by GE President Brian White. I caught up with these three briefly after Obama’s speech. 

» Read Full Article

Overnight road work to force closure of parts of I-94

Jan. 29, 2014 2:20 p.m. | Crews will flatten out bumps on I-94 at the Springdale, Brookfield and Moorland roads overpasses Wednesday night, causing rolling closures of the highway starting at 10 p.m.

The bumps worsened after the recent extreme cold weather, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said in a release. Work will start at the westbound lanes of I-94 at Moorland Road, and all locations will be completed by 4 a.m.

Delays are expected in the area, and the State Patrol will be assisting with the closures.

Attorney General Van Hollen endorses Brad Schimel as his successor

Jan. 29, 2014 1:11 p.m. | Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Wednesday endorsed Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel as his successor, signalling that Van Hollen doesn't expect a competitive GOP primary for the office.

In a statement, Van Hollen praised Schimel’s two decades of experience as a prosecutor. Van Hollen, a Republican like Schimel, created an open race for attorney general in October by announcing he would not seek a third term.  

“Brad Schimel embodies what it means to be Wisconsin’s ‘Top Cop,’” Van Hollen said in the statement.  “Brad’s a law enforcement professional who will reject the partisan wrangling of Madison to do what’s in the best interest of public safety and protecting Wisconsin families.”

Democrats have a three-way primary for the office, with Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and state Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee all committed to a run so far.

Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima to skip Barack Obama visit to GE plant

Jan. 28, 2014 4:45 p.m. | Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima describes both President Barack Obama and Gov. Scott Walker as political extremists in explaining why he plans to skip Obama's visit to a GE plant in Waukesha on Thursday.

The first-term mayor is comfortable in calling out Obama and Walker as extremists not for advocating extreme measures, as a dictionary might define the term, but for refusing to compromise, Scrima said Tuesday.

"Both Governor Walker and President Obama have failed to come to the center and compromise on issues," he said. "Madison and Washington, D.C., are more polarized than they've ever been. At the local level, that does not help us."

Scrima describes himself as a nonpartisan local official in offering another reason for his planned absence Thursday.

"I've never been a member of a political party," he said. "The office of a local mayor ought to be nonpartisan for all people in the community."

» Read Full Article

Man's marriage to late spouse certified -- again

Jan. 28, 2014 8:15 a.m. | A Waukesha man who had his 1995 marriage to a woman who died in 2012 certified as legal last year is officially a widower again.

George Poniewaz thought he was married for years, then learned he wasn't, then got his perceived marriage certified after his wife had died, only to have a judge later suspend his certification when he learned in the Journal Sentinel that it could bear on a fraud charge against Poniewaz in another county.

The former truck driver for the city of Waukesha had to go before a different Milwaukee County judge this month, and prove all over again that he in fact got married to Jill Poniewaz in 1995.

Poniewaz's strange legal odyssey started after his wife died and he tried to get bereavement pay from his employer, the city of Waukesha. Officials said he wasn't entitled to the pay because he had said he was divorced. When he tried to prove he wasn't, his marriage license was proven to be a forgery, and he was charged with fraudulently obtaining years of benefits for his spouse.

So Poniewaz went to court in Milwaukee County to get a delayed certificate of marriage. Circuit Judge Kevin Martens heard from Poniewaz and other witnesses to a 1995 marriage ceremony and granted the certificate. But at the time, Martens didn't know about the pending criminal charges and was a little upset no one brought it up.

» Read Full Article

President Barack Obama coming to Waukesha business on Thursday

Jan. 27, 2014 11:47 a.m. | Two days after delivering his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama will be in Waukesha. 

Obama will speak on the economy at 10 a.m. at General Electric's Waukesha Gas Engines facility, 1101 W. St. Paul Ave.

Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima was invited to the event by White House staff but has declined to attend.

"Although I’ve assisted our local businesses in adding a record number of over 700 new family-supporting jobs to Waukesha during the last four years, because the position of mayor ought to be non-partisan, I will be passing on this visit from Washington," Scrima said. 

Along with his stop in Waukesha, Obama will visit a few other cities across the country in the days after his State of the Union address.

Update: Waukesha School District closed Monday and Tuesday due to cold

Jan. 27, 2014 10:25 a.m. | While the Waukesha School District said on Sunday that schools could be open on Monday, it decided early Monday morning that its schools would be closed today.

The district also announced that its schools are closed Tuesday due to the dangerously-cold temperatures and wind chills. 

The district will have to make up both days at a later date this school year. It already has to make up one of the days that were canceled earlier this month due to the cold. 

A wind chill advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service. A wind chill warning then goes into effect until noon Tuesday in Waukesha.

The cold weather has also forced the Waukesha Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department to cancel all day and evening classes/activities on Monday.

Community Watch

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Waukesha County Fair


The 2016 Waukesha County Fair saw rain, scorching temps and tropical humidity throughout its five-day run. Check out our stories, photos and video from the fair, including coverage of the new pig, duck and goat races, the 50th annual Fairest of the Fair contest, as well as a ranking of the top food items.

Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.